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Job Interview Tips

3 Ways to Save a Job Interview Gone Wrong

By Joseph Cueto on May 5, 2015

After what may have felt like a decade-long wait, the job interview you’ve long been waiting for is finally here. It’s your prime chance to nail down your dream job.

You're in the interview room and time is passing, things are getting worse. You're starting to sweat. Even if you’ve spent hours and hours rehearsing answers and anticipating your interviewer's reactions, you've said a few things that seem wrong. The interviewer is frowning and looking at your resume. Things are looking bleak. It's a classic case of interview gone wrong. You have just around 5 minutes left of this person's time. What can you do to turn this around?

According to an article by the Fast Company’s Gwen Morian, there is no need to despair - not all hope is lost. Morian prescribes seven ways you can save a bad interview. These strategies can be applied during both the interview and post-interview stages. Here are three out of seven tips shared by Morian, straight from her:

Stay calm

"Interviewers have different styles and it’s possible you’re misreading the situation, says interview coach Barry Drexler. Some interviewers are stoic and others might be playing it cool to try to rattle you or see how you react under pressure. 'It might not be going as bad as you think it’s going,' he says. Stay calm and focus on what you can do to change the tone, he says."

Focus on your strengths

"Drexler says you can also carefully redirect the interview to focus on your strengths. You don’t want to seem like you’re being pushy or dictating the subject manner, but if you feel like the interview isn’t showing you in your best light, insert some of your accomplishments into the conversation, Drexler says."

Own up to a mistake and move on

"If you forgot someone’s name or showed up under- or over-dressed for the interview, acknowledge the situation and move on, says Katharine Brooks, executive director for personal and career development at Wake Forest University. Make a simple apology and, perhaps, a self-deprecating joke."

Read the rest of the strategies here.

Again, this may be worth repeating: If an interview is not going well, it's not an entirely lost cause. And even if it does turn out that way, take it as a learning experience. Even the graduates from the best schools in the Philippines can attest that you have to be able to experience losses on your way to becoming a winner.

Regardless of the outcome, learn the lessons from that bad interview. Keep moving forward and stay positive in your job hunt.

*Photo by MindField Group